black and decker string trimmer

Should you buy a Black and Decker String Trimmer because it's orange? Or, should you be color-blind when deciding on lawn maintenance tools? Some people choose tractors because they are green and pick certain construction tools because they are yellow. Both John Deere and DeWalt have done a brilliant job over the last few decades of getting the public to associate quality and reliability with the color of their respective brands. To a lesser extent, Black and Decker has become linked to the corresponding orange color emblazoned on all their tools.

When shopping for new lawn equipment, should you buy orange? A Black and Decker String Trimmer is readily available at many retailers. The brand name is familiar. The only remaining questions center on features, reviews, pricing, and quality -- and how it compares to the competition.

Elements Of A Black And Decker String Trimmer

The bright orange color of a Black and Decker String Trimmer may be the first thing to catch your eye. However, it has plenty of other features as well. Some of these elements are beneficial in enhancing performance and convenience. Three features, in particular, stand out.

Comparison Table

"The POWERDRIVE Transmission"

The POWERDRIVE transmission

The motor of a Black and Decker String Trimmer drives a proprietary POWERDRIVE transmission that boasts optimal performance. Weeds may be tough and undergrowth rampant. Nevertheless, the POWERDRIVE transmission delivers more power from the motor, through the shaft, down to the head, and into the wire spool and cutting string, thus finishing the project quicker and better.

"From Trimmer To Edger"

black and decker string trimmer

Many times during lawn maintenance you need to switch and use your trimmer for edging. The design of the Balck and Decker string trimmer allows a user to transform from weed trimmer to lawn edger easily. Some models utilize a two-in-one system that simply rotates the wheeled edge guide. Other models have Groom N' Edge technology. With this feature, a quick release latch converts from one to the other in a few seconds.

"Automatic Spool Feed"

Automatic spool feed

When tackling lawn maintenance, you typically want to save time and keep trimming with minimal interruption. Each Black and Decker String Trimmer comes with some type of automatic spool feed feature to help with this very thing. Most models have an AFS system installed, which automatically feeds the line as needed while you trim. Other models come with an EASYFEED feature that allows the user to advance more line by simply pushing a button.

Black And Decker String Trimmer Options

A myriad of options is available for your consideration as you begin your perusal of Black and Decker String Trimmers. These choices fall within two categories: corded and cordless. Both of these groups have the advantage of using some type of electrical power instead of gasoline.

A string trimmer operating with an internal combustion engine admittedly does the job and people have used them effectively and happily for decades. However, modern technology has enabled electric-powered models to be built that can perform at the same level without many of the drawbacks of gasoline. With an electric-powered string trimmer, you eliminate nasty fumes, harmful emissions, and expensive fuel. You also minimize the noise and greatly lower the amount of maintenance needed. A non-gasoline string trimmer is also much easier and quicker to start, which is an undeniable plus. Let's look at a couple of each type.

Two Corded Choices

The corded choices have the benefit of an uninterrupted and dependable power supply. Simply plug into an electrical outlet, and you are ready to go. The obvious downside is you must always be near a power source and let's face it, that can be a pain in the butt sometimes. There is nothing worse than lugging an extension cord around while you are trying to trim your yard. However, if your yard is small, it's not as big of an issue, and you might love these. It's important to understand that before you buy, though.

BLACK+DECKER String Trimmer, Electric, 14-Inch (BESTE620)
  • Easy feed allows you to Advance your line with the push of a button with no bumping required
  • The 6.5 amp motor and Power Drive transmission provide maximum performance when trimming through the toughest weeds, grass, and overgrowth
  • 2in1 Trim or Edge with wheeled edge guide - just rotate to convert from trimmer to wheeled edger
  • Lightweight design with adjustable handle and Height positions provide maximum comfort and control
  • Cord retention system prevents accidental cord disconnection

The Black and Decker 6.5-Amp 14-inch POWERCOMMAND Electric String Trimmer/Edger with EASYFEED is lightweight and easy to handle at 5.3 pounds. The handle and height positions are adjustable to allow optimal comfort and control for the user. It cuts a 14-inch swath with 0.065-inch diameter string. The motor is 6.5 Amps and 8,200 RPM. A cord retention system helps prevent the 16-gauge cord from accidental disconnection. Excellent for trimming and edging, even in tall grass and weeds.

Cost is usually a determining factor when purchasing lawn tools, and a Black and Decker String Trimmer does turn heads in this area. You can grab a corded model quite inexpensively. 

The ergonomic design of the Black and Decker 7.5-Amp 14-inch Trimmer/Edger also boasts adjustable height positions and a pivoting handle while weighing in at 6.9 pounds. Though also cutting a 14-inch swath, this model uses a 0.080-inch diameter line instead. The motor is only 7,500 RPM, but 7.5 Amps. A wheeled edge guide allows for more precision trimming, and the Groom N' Edge quick latch release enables quick conversion from trimmer to edger. A 16-gauge cord gives this model its power.

Two Cordless Choices

The cordless alternatives utilize battery power, thereby erasing any distance limitation. The disadvantage is always needing to ensure sufficient battery charge. Once you do have a fully-charged battery, these models eliminate the need for electrical outlets and open up the remote areas of your property. Plus, you're no longer tripping over a cord in the process. An additional bonus is the ability to collect other tools in the Black and Decker family that utilize a similar battery.

Keep in mind, though, that you will actually need to charge the battery. You don't want to try to trim your lawn only to realize you completely forgot to charge it the last time you used it. That is almost as annoying as tripping over the extension cord.

BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer with POWERCOMMAND Powercut, 24-Inch (LHT341FF)
  • A Powerful 40V MAX lithium Ion battery delivers power and extended run-time
  • 24- in. dual-action blade to ensures less vibration while trimming
  • Cuts branches up to 3/4 in. diameter
  • Ergonomic grips and low vibration help you work longer and complete the job

The 40V MAX Cordless String Trimmer with POWERCOMMAND is the heaviest of the models at 7.8 pounds. Users can enjoy a dial that allows them to choose between maximum power or maximum runtime. The 40-volt battery can charge in 2 hours or less. The motor cuts a 13-inch swath at 6,500 to 8,500 RPM with 0.065-inch diameter line.

BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Lawn Mower, String Trimmer and Edger, 12-Inch (MTC220)
  • 3 tools in 1, easily converts from mower to trimmer to edger
  • AFS automatic feed system ensures continuous work without bumping and having to stop.Ideal Property Size 750 ft²
  • Power Drive Transmission prevents bogging down. Cutting heights: 1.6 2.4 inch
  • Adjustable height deck & trimmer and pivoting handle. Charge Time at 60 percent 2.5 hrs
  • Includes (2) batteries for extended run time

A much smaller and lightweight model is the 20V MAX Lithium 12-inch Trimmer/Edger. At a mere 5.2 pounds, it still runs 7,200 RPM and cuts a 12-inch swath with 0.065-inch diameter line. You can adjust the height position as well as the handle, which helps increase both your comfort and control. Two batteries are included with this model, essentially doubling the runtime.

It only scores fair marks for its trimming capabilities and its ease of use. However, the biggest blow is the rating of "poor" for cutting through tough weeds and grass.

Critically Comparing The Competition

Features are good. Prices are low. Ratings are mixed. All that remains now is to check out what competitors are offering and compare them with a Black and Decker String Trimmer.

Metrics And Analysis

We can compare features to see how they stack up, as well as note any unique extras. What customers are saying about competitors is also an important rubric to consider, along with how industry experts view each product. Finally, it is always a good idea to juxtapose and examine pricing. This blended approach helps with making an informed decision.

Greenworks 18-Inch 10 Amp Corded String Trimmer (Attachment Capable) 21142
  • 10Amp motor with straight shaft and .080 dual line bump feed
  • Light weight and simple electric start with cord lock feature makes it easy to use
  • Large 18" cutting path helps speed up the trimming process
  • Cushion and over-mold grip and handle for operator comfort with auxiliary handle for more control when trimming. Compatible GreenWorks Replacement Spool, Model 29622
  • Quick-connect coupler allows for easy attachment changes and fits various name brands

This comparable Ryobi model is superior to a Black and Decker String Trimmer in so many ways! A 14-gauge cord brings juice to the large 10-Amp motor. It cuts a very large swath of 18 inches with a double line, thereby significantly increasing the efficacy and efficiency of trimming. The proprietary Speed-Winder technology which boasts that string can be reloaded in under 60 seconds, saving you time.

Compared to the lightweight Black and Decker String Trimmers, this Ryobi corded model does weigh in at a heavy 11 pounds. Plus, it does use the traditional bump-head to advance the string, as opposed to the cutting-edge AFS and EASYFEED systems found on the Black and Decker models.

The Ryobi 10-Amp Electric is popular with customers from Home Depot, who give it a lofty 4.6 out of 5 stars. Even Consumer Reports loves this product, scoring it 84 out of 100. Industry professionals gave this string trimmer superior marks for trimming, edging, and handling. 

DEWALT DCST920P1 Brushless Trimmer
  • Brushless Motor maximizing motor efficiency and durability
  • Dual 0.080" line with bump feed, with 13-inch cutting swath
  • Variable trigger with speed control
  • Patented gear drive design. Rpm: 0-4,600 / 0-6,000 rpm
  • Includes 20V MAX 5.0Ah Lithium Ion Battery, along with charger

The 8.5-pound DeWalt 20V MAX String Trimmer is quite similar to the Black and Decker 20V cordless model. Powered by a 20-volt battery, the 5-Amp motor runs at 4,600 to 6,000 RPM and cuts a 13-inch swath. Some notable features are a variable hi/lo trigger, a brushless motor that extends the life of the product, and a quick-load spool. It also boasts double lines cutting from the spool, though the line advances with the traditional bump-feed system.

The primary knock against this model was how poorly it cut through thicker weeds and grass. 

Toro PowerPlex 51482 Brushless 40V Lithium Ion 14" Cordless String Trimmer, 2.5 Ah Battery & Charger Included
  • Brushless DC motor for more power, more run time and longer life than brushed motor
  • 0.08" thick dual line with bump feed- durable, productive line control
  • Control speed with the variable speed trigger: Lower Speed = Longer Run Time; Higher Speed = Faster Cutting
  • Long-lasting durability with the cast aluminum head
  • T90 Battery (90 watt-hours) provides up to 40 minutes run time from a full charge. T90 Battery (40-Volt max, 2.5 amp-hour, 90 watt-hour) and quick charger (60-minute charge time) included

The Toro PowerPlex 40V MAX 14-inch Brushless String Trimmer is another similar product that slightly edges out a Black and Decker String Trimmer. A variable speed trigger activates the brushless 2.5-Amp motor. The 40-volt battery powers the dual lines advancing from the spool to cut a 14-inch swath. All these features are in a product weighing 9.2 pounds.

People who purchase this Toro PowerPlex model rave about it. 

Pros And Cons Of A Black And Decker String Trimmer

An examination of the Black and Decker String Trimmer yields results that are pretty cut and dry. There are a few positive reasons to consider making this your go-to string trimmer.

                              Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Low price
  • Decent customer reviews
  • Slick EASYFEED system to advance the string

cONS

  • Only one line, instead of dual lines
  • Poor professional ratings
  • Poor performance on tough projects
  • Lackluster quality
  • Unappealing orange color

Unfortunately, you also find a plethora of negatives that seem to overshadow those positives and cause you to step back and rethink your position.

Caution With Black And Decker Orange

If low cost is your prime consideration when choosing a string trimmer, then a Black and Decker model is worth your perusal. For a relatively low price, you can pick up a corded model and cheaply go about your lawn maintenance. In fact, if you decide to purchase a Black and Decker String Trimmer, the corded options are hands-down the better choice.

However, for only a few dollars you can actually pick up a better and higher-rated corded string trimmer from Ryobi or another competitor. Furthermore, if you have your heart set on a cordless string trimmer, the Black and Decker should be at the bottom of your list. Not only will you get an inferior product, but you are stuck with their trademark, unappealing orange color.

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